Viewing posts from: February 2017

Hidden Risks for Dairy Farmers

Posted February 23, 2017 by Administrator

Many dairy farmers’ top priority is their cows’ projected milk yield. They focus on elements that affect their cows’ health and wellbeing such as preventing common diseases and providing proper housing for the animals. Many are expecting a higher yield of milk by pounds per cow. This is largely due to enhanced nutrient content and digestibility of 2016’s forage crops. However, unexpected challenges threaten this projection.

Harvest Delays and Grain Maturation

The 2016 corn silage and high moisture harvest pose certain risks to dairy farmers. For one, harvesting was delayed. This resulted in the plants and grains maturing past their optimal stages. This contributed to diminished nutrition quality of the harvest, which has a direct effect on dairy cows and their milk output.

Defensive Tactics

There are numerous options available to dairy farmers to combat this issue. Unfortunately, decreased dairy performance is rarely a single-culprit issue. Multiple factors often combine to reduce the animals’ health as well as milk output. Some of these are anti-nutrition factors such as mold, yeast, and toxins.

Other elements are bacteria-based. Sometimes, feed or other toxins found on the farm can overwhelm an already nutritionally deficient cow. Other times, excessive starch in the animals’ diets can create the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to take over in the intestines and hindgut. The best way to avoid this scenario is by dairy farmers, consultants, and trusted veterinarians working together.

Outside factors affecting production is not unique to dairy farmers. Nearly all trades that fall under the agribusiness umbrella will feel the sting of external influences on their bottom line at some point. While these companies can take steps to work together and mitigate these issues, having appropriate insurance is vital. Cline Wood is the paramount provider of agribusiness insurance products. We treat your business as our own and provide customized services to meet your needs. Contact us to learn more.

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TMPS for a Safer Fleet

Posted February 16, 2017 by Administrator

Maintaining proper tire pressure is a major component of vehicle maintenance for many commercial truck drivers. However, frigid winter temperatures can make some drivers prone to taking shortcuts while manually checking their tire pressure. For example, they may opt to check only the outer tire of a dual tire set up. It can be difficult to access the inner tire, and many drivers assume the pressure is about the same as the outer tire.

Having a tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) can provide data for all tires, inner and outer, with much higher precision than a manual check. This will make life on the road easier for many truck drivers. TMPSs can also reduce safety risks related to inadequate tire pressure monitoring such as blowouts and longer stopping distances.

In addition to improving transportation safety, TMPSs provide the following benefits:

  • Reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Underinflated tires reduce fuel efficiency and increase emission output. Fuel costs are one of the greatest expenses of operating a fleet, which is why improving fuel efficiency is a common concern among fleet managers.
  • Improved lifespan of tires and tread. Underinflated tires have irregular wear patterns and can affect re-treading. Ensuring tires have the appropriate pressure can improve the duration of any given set of tires.
  • Reduced frequency of broken down trucks. About two-thirds of road calls relate to tires. The costs associated with these kinds of calls include servicing the vehicle, replacing the tire casings if necessary, and lost productivity/business.

Making use of TMPS can save fleets a considerable amount of money. However, ensuring driver safety is the paramount benefit. Reducing transportation risks is an excellent way to reduce insurance costs as well. As a national commercial property and casualty insurance agency that serves the commercial trucking industries, Cline Wood can help fleet owners manage their risk to improve their bottom line. Contact us today to learn more.

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Know the Risks Your Agribusiness Faces

Posted February 9, 2017 by Administrator

Agribusinesses face a variety of risks that other businesses do not. Some risks, such as events that affect pricing, are the same for all institutions. Other risks are unique to agriculture-based businesses, such as farming. If you own an agribusiness, you need to familiarize yourself with all of the risks that can affect your company. Below are some of the common risk factors farmers face.

Price Risk

Problems with pricing often occur after a farmer has already committed to production. Production is a lengthy process for agribusinesses. For example, farmers must invest in feed and equipment to produce the best possible livestock. It can take months or even years to see a return on their investment. During this period in time, global and local market pricing can shift and have a dramatic effect on farmers’ bottom line.

Production Risk

Agribusinesses face distinctive production risks compared to other industries. Some examples include harsh weather, droughts, insects, and a variety of other environmental factors. These elements are uncontrollable and sometimes unpredictable, which can hinder production output.

Institutional Risk

Changes to government policies can affect multiple industries. For farmers, the biggest risks come with changes to regulations regarding how they grow their crops and raise their livestock as this can have a significant effect on production costs. Other changes that can affect farmers are rules regarding manure disposal, conservation and land use mandates, or tax law updates.

Agribusinesses cannot afford to ignore these risks. The best way to reduce risk is to invest in the proper types and amount of insurance. To learn more about how insurance can reduce your agribusiness’ risk, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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Electric-Powered Vehicles the Future of Commercial Trucking

Posted February 2, 2017 by Administrator

Battery-electric vehicles with zero-emissions are most certainly the future of the trucking industry in America. The cost savings of electric trucks is staggering; current high fuel and maintenance costs will someday be a burden of the past for America’s fleets. The electric truck markets are growing rapidly; many options are now commercially available. There are already new competitors in the U.S. that offer off-road yard tractors and urban utility trucks with ranges in excess of 100 miles.

The benefits of commercial electric vehicles include:

  • Reduction in energy-consumption. Electric delivery trucks use 30 percent less total energy.
  • Reduced emissions. Electric trucks emit 40 percent less greenhouse gases than diesel trucks
  • Similar costs. When you take the cost of purchase and operating, diesel-fueled and electric trucks cost roughly the same.
  • Elimination of noise pollution. Electric trucks virtually eliminate the city/urban noise pollution, a major factor in densely populated urban cores where hundreds of thousands of people must put up with extreme noise pollution from the current internal-combustion-engine technology.
  • Elimination of air pollution. Currently, people must deal with dirty exhaust and smelly CNG fumes. Electric trucks will bring a quantifiable environmental impact that will be welcomed, especially in densely populated urban areas.

Not every trucking company will rush to replace their diesel-fueled vehicles with electric ones, though. There are important criteria to consider for trucking fleets that are considering being on the forefront of change. Here is some of what must be considered:

  • Routes and distance from electric truck stops. The ideal trucking routes are ones that are fixed and low mileage. If routes are consistent and within the distance of electricity-charging stations they may be a good fit for electrification.
  • Company interest. While most companies have the word “sustainability” in their mission statement, not all are ready to make the trade-off between environmentally-friendly and the initial cost of vehicle replacement. However, some companies make the decision to make the shift in order to benefit the planet.
  • Emissions regulations. Virtually all air regulating agencies across North America have continually increased truck emissions regulations, and this trend will continue to mean tighter restrictions in the future.
  • Ease of transition. Some industries are less complex, which will make it easier for them to make the decision to convert to electric power.

In the not-so-distant future expect to see more affordable electric vehicles; the number of electric vehicles may even outnumber diesel-fueled vehicles as people around the world continue to demand a shift to greener commercial vehicles. Expect to see the price of batteries lower which will mean that tomorrow’s electric vehicles will be less expensive to own than today’s gas and diesel  powered vehicles.

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

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